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KD Bowe: Using his voice to entertain, inspire and motivate the masses

ROLLINGOUT.COM — Broadcaster KD Bowe has one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices ever to hit the airwaves

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By Rollingout.com

Legendary broadcaster KD Bowe has one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices ever to hit the airwaves. The popular on-air personality hosts the “The KD Bowe Show” in the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. time slot on Radio One’s WPZE Praise 102.5, “Atlanta’s Inspiration Station.”

Bowe is also the owner of KDB Productions, a voice-over services production company, and has been the signature voice for hundreds of brands, including Bishop T.D. Jakes, Paul Morton, The Word Network, Sony and The Coca-Cola Company. His golden pipes and personality helped earn him the designation as the in-stadium announcer for the Atlanta Falcons.

For the past 20 years, Bowe has served as a “motivator to the masses,” sharing his personal insights, practical advice and principle-centered approach to the issues facing individuals, families, communities and especially other Black men. He is the founder and executive director of ManUP! Community Inc., a program designed to equip men with the tools that will help them heal their past hurts, transform their lives, increase their productivity and ultimately forge a band of brothers who unconditionally support and uplift each another.

Describe the moment you fell in love with the city of Atlanta.

I got here in ’94 from North Carolina — the country. I loved Atlanta because it offered many opportunities. … I interned at a place called Omni Productions, and I became worldwide.

Atlanta is often referred to as a Black mecca. What about Atlanta makes it a Black mecca?

The opportunities. When I came here, the unemployment rate was extremely low. Everybody had a job. Everybody was doing good. Everybody was eating. Now since ’94, you have all these people, all these opportunities, like movies that are being made here, businesses [and] CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. But it is the Black mecca because, if you are a Black person and you come to Atlanta and you’re serious about eating, working [and] dominating, then you will do just that.

How does Atlanta support and encourage Black entrepreneurs

When you get to Atlanta, if you’re not at the bottom then, at best, you’re in the middle. The community makes you get better, and it encourages you to work hard a perfect your craft.

What cultural assets attracted you to Atlanta and contribute to its reputation around the world as a Black mecca?

The cultural part that attracted me to Atlanta was the entertainment side, particularly radio. One of my mentors had a production company, and I was just so wowed by that. Atlanta is the place where, if you want to do great production, this is where you want to be. And, for me, it’s production, but for others, it may be entertainment.

If someone is visiting Atlanta for the first time, what would you encourage them to experience?  

If you’re visiting Atlanta for the first time, anywhere you go, the first thing that is going to hit you in your chest is the cultural diversity. Black people are winning here, and they’re doing pretty well.

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com.

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Bay Area

Kaplan to WNBA: Bring New Team Here!

Support to bring a WNBA team extends past a solid fanbase, as local regulating agencies have also taken key votes to prepare for a WNBA team in Oakland. With the leadership of Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, in July 2021, both the Oakland Coliseum Authority and the Oakland City Council unanimously and enthusiastically voted in favor of a term sheet to bring a WNBA team to Oakland.

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@PaulCobbOakland @NNPA_BlackPress @BlackPressUSA @Kaplan4Oakland @WNBA
Ray Bobbitt, President of African American Sports and Entertainment Group, who purchased the Coliseum as part of its East Oakland Development Plan, thanks Rebecca Kaplan for providing the City Council leadership in 2021 for the AASEG to bring a WNBA Franchise along with jobs, housing, businesses and sports enterprises to Oakland. Photo by Jonathan “Fitness” Jones.

By Post Staff

Oakland Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan will introduce a resolution on Sept. 20, 1:30 p.m. to the Oakland City Council urging the Women’s National Basketball Association (“WNBA”) to approve the City of Oakland as the home for a new WNBA Team.

The WNBA has discussed plans to expand the number of WNBA teams on its roster for the past number of years. Kaplan said, “the City of Oakland must make it clear that not only are we supportive of bringing a WNBA Team to Oakland but are excited to be partners and collaborators with the WNBA during the expansion. This resolution, therefore, extends our strong support towards this effort and urges the WNBA to make Oakland the home for a WNBA team.”

When asked by the Post whether she had heard that San Francisco might be a potential WNBA competitor, even though Oakland started first with its bid, Kaplan said, “Oakland is ideally suited for a WNBA team because of our fervent and rooted fanbase, existing arena space and shared core values with the WNBA. The Bay Area has the fourth-highest number of WNBA fans among U.S. markets without a WNBA team — 418,816 WNBA fans, higher than eight current markets with a WNBA team. More than a half million Bay Area market adults play basketball, and the Bay Area ranks in the top 30 markets in household delivery for the WNBA Regular Season.”

In October of 2021, it was announced that WNBA Champion and four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard, who spent 15 years playing the WNBA and earned back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Attorney Jade Smith-Williams, of the law firm Baily & Glasser, LLP, a local Oakland women’s basketball legend and who played professionally overseas, would join in the leading efforts by the African American Sports and Entertainment Group (“AASEG”) to have an Oakland Black and Women WNBA Team ownership process.

In addition to a strong fan base, Oakland already has a world-class arena at the center of a multimodal corridor ready to house a WNBA team. The Oakland Arena is easily accessible by both highway and public transportation, complete with a pedestrian bridge that allows fans direct access from the Coliseum BART station. The arena sits on 132 acres with 10,000 on-site parking spaces. It is also airport accessible, and a stone’s throw away from the Capitol Corridor rail line. This multimodal connectivity will allow not only Oaklanders to conveniently attend games but also fans from across California. From former Monarchs supporters to women’s basketball enthusiasts, Oakland will draw fans from the Bay Area megaregion and beyond.

Support to bring a WNBA team extends past a solid fanbase, as local regulating agencies have also taken key votes to prepare for a WNBA team in Oakland. With the leadership of Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, in July 2021, both the Oakland Coliseum Authority and the Oakland City Council unanimously and enthusiastically voted in favor of a term sheet to bring a WNBA team to Oakland.

Kaplan states, “Oakland is a community that values social justice, equality, and women’s rights. These principles align with those of the WNBA, and we are ready to move forward as a partner in advancing those goals as the home for a new WNBA team.”

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Black History

AI-Generated Rapper Controversy Spotlights the Need for More Blacks in Tech

While A.I. technology is making massive strides, it is still limited to processing massive amounts of data based on parameters set by the programmer, according to Josh Lovejoy at Google’s Privacy and Data Protection Office. Consequently, A.I. is not an independent entity but an extension of its creators and thus inherits their biases.

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Media watchers say FN Meka is modeled after rap artists like Lil Pump and Travis Scott and was voiced by real-life rap artist Kyle the Hooligan.
Media watchers say FN Meka is modeled after rap artists like Lil Pump and Travis Scott and was voiced by real-life rap artist Kyle the Hooligan.

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

Almost as quickly as it began, the music industry may have seen the end of the infamous Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) rapper referred to as “FN Meka”, a computer-generated character being widely condemned for appropriating Black culture and saying the N-word.

The A.I. rapper was developed by Anthony Martini and Brandon Le, co-founders of Factory New, a Metaverse media company. Some critics claim that the creators who are not Black are trivializing Black art and the Black experience, tantamount to what some are calling “digital Blackface.”

“In many ways, digital Blackface is an example of … the ‘digital afterlife of slavery’ and Jim Crow, where you have real people and virtual characters engaging in a kind of machine-automated minstrelsy that disrespects and disregards the artistry and production value that goes into the creation of Black culture,” Dr. Faithe J. Day, Assistant Professor of Black Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), told California Black Media.

Media watchers say FN Meka is modeled after rap artists like Lil Pump and Travis Scott and was voiced by real-life rap artist Kyle the Hooligan.

Kyle the Hooligan says that he will be suing the company responsible for the A.I. rapper. The Houston-based artist says he had not been paid for his work and he wasn’t aware that his voice had been sold to Capitol Music Group (CMG) until he saw it in the news.

CMG terminated its contract with Factory New less than two weeks after they signed it amid the controversy surrounding the A.I. artist’s lyrical content and depiction of rap culture.

One of the A.I. rapper’s questionable lyrics is in the song ‘Moonwalkin’. It says “boom, police on my back, hot pursuit (Skrr)/ Know that they mad that this A.I. gettin’ [inaudible],” along with several uses of the N-word.

The A.I. project attracted more criticism when Factory New posted on its Instagram account an animated video depicting the program’s avatar on the ground being assaulted by police.

The post’s caption read: “POLICE BRUTALITY?? What Should I Do ?!?! This Guard keeps beating me w/ his BATON because I won’t snitch. I ain’t no RAT. Life in Prison is so Depressing…. I wish I could get out so I could start making music again.”

CMG issued a formal apology for its involvement with Factory New saying, “CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately. We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it.”

Martini suggested that critics of his A.I. rapper have taken a hypocritical stance.

“If you’re mad about the lyrical content because it supposedly was A.I., why not be mad about the lyrical content in general?” Martini was quoted saying to the New York Times.

Prof. Day found that comparison grossly oversimplifies what some people are concerned about.

“In the case of FN Meka, comparing what an A.I. [character] does to what an artist does is a false equivalency and misses the point of why so many people are upset about the representation of this A.I. rapper,” Day said. “The real issue is that FN Meka is an example of what Adam Clayton Powell called ‘high-tech Blackface’ and what more recently has been called ‘Digital Blackface’, a phenomenon that we have seen for decades in video games, chat rooms, and social media.”

Day said there is an extensive history in music and entertainment of appropriating Black culture without compensating the African American originators of various art forms.

“Due to the fact that within America and the Western world, there is a history of those in power freely benefitting from the cultural and material production of BIPOC individuals, it only makes sense that the same ethos would continue in the digital realm,” Day said.

“And, in this case, the popularity of FN Meka and other virtual artists might make it easier for creative industries to forgo actually increasing the diversity and inclusion of their artists’ roster and production teams in favor of creating their own caricatures of Blackness, or any other combination of identities,” Day continued.

Martini is no longer associated with the FN Meka project and Factory New. In his announcement, he sided with Kyle the Hooligan.

“In the past few days, I’ve learned of Kyle the Hooligan’s experience with Meka which is deeply at odds with my core values. I believe that artists must always be at the center of the creative process and must be compensated fairly,” Martini stated.

While A.I. technology is making massive strides, it is still limited to processing massive amounts of data based on parameters set by the programmer, according to Josh Lovejoy at Google’s Privacy and Data Protection Office. Consequently, A.I. is not an independent entity but an extension of its creators and thus inherits their biases.

“In addition, while it is important to stay aware of racist A.I., we also have to think about intersectionality and the fact that A.I. isn’t just racist, it can also be sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, and many other things that speak to the fact that oppression acts in a matrix,” Day said.

Day is still optimistic about the future of artificial intelligence as more Black and other minority-led projects become a reality, such as NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF) from Hyphen Labs, a global team of women of color doing pioneering work encompassing art, technology, and science.

“By drawing on both speculative and liberatory approaches to art and design, I believe that there are many artists that are poised to build a more diverse and justice-oriented future within, and outside of, the creative industries by using technology and artificial intelligence for social good,” Day emphasized.

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Activism

Veterans Fish Free

NABVETS and other Bay Area veterans groups will join together with East Bay Regional Park District to go fishing, 9:00am to 2:30pm Saturday, September 27 at the Oakley Regional Shoreline (Antioch Pier) at Bridgehead Road and Wilbur Avenue, Antioch, CA. 

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NABVETS and other Bay Area veterans groups will join together with East Bay Regional Park District to go fishing, 9:00am to 2:30pm Saturday, September 27 at the Oakley Regional Shoreline (Antioch Pier) at Bridgehead Road and Wilbur Avenue, Antioch, CA.

Buses will provide free transportation from Richmond and Concord. For information, view the flyer below or call 510-545-2554.

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